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FOOD TRUCK! Da Kine grills up some Hawaiian flavor

by 1. August 2011 13:30

According to the guy that took my order, "Da Kine" means "The Sh*t" in Hawaii. I won't argue.

I drove past this place ten times before I was actually smart enough to pull over and give it a try. Permanently parked next to a HoJo and a failed business, the bright orange food truck has occupied the same spot on S. Dale Mabry for a couple years or better, and consistently cranks out

some damn tasty food at a pretty fair price.

Although I've yet to try one, the menu of Shave Ice is pretty impressive looking, with some creations such as the "Ol' Weezy Bear" (Grape, Blackberry, Guava) and "The Bobo" (Peach, Horchata, and Condensed Milk) sticking in my memory as some of the more creative beverages

available in the area...

Oh yeah. That's seven bucks well spent. Shredded chicken, shaved steak, sweet ribs (similar to Korean Gal Bi), and a side of rice, to which you can liberally apply either "Da Sauce", a sweet-salty-soy concoction, and/or sriracha, the green capped red asian pepper sauce that has become the

BBQ of our generation.

(in case the first picture didn't look good enough)

And the signature macaroni salad, included with my meal and covered in my signature sriracha sauce. Apologies that I didn't catch it in it's natural sriracha-less form, but let's be honest with each other here, it looks way cooler with a spiral of spicy red goodness slathered about the top.

TAMPA GOT A NEW FOOD TRUCK! It's called "Wicked 'Wiches" and it's worth checking

by 1. July 2011 13:07

And we were the first customers EVER. How cool. By we I mean myself and my friends Tim & Michelle, who co-write the food blog "Bites in the Heights" on Facebook (check them out!). The rain delayed the grand opening a couple hours, then getting the kitchen up and running delayed it further, but we finally got to fill our empty tummies. The menu is a variety of creative sandwich-esque portable food, which is targeting the good looking and affluent drunks scattered about Howard Avenue on any given weekend (or week) night. I'm allowed to say that too, because I'm good looking and affluent.

And quite modest. (ha, you thought I was going to say drunk) But I digest...So Michelle got a "TOASTwich" called the "Portable" ($7.50), which had a medley of veggies, the predominant of which was the balsamic marinated Portabellas, yum! Enjoyed it thoroughly, the bread was soft on the inside but had a nice char from the grille which gave it an enjoyable crunch. The sweet potato chips were thin, crispy, and pretty decent too. The chef told me that they bake all their own bread each day, and that they make almost everything from scratch each day too. He'd spent 16 hours yesterday just working on smoking the pork! (mmmm... pork...) but I'm getting ahead of myself...That my friends, is a Bourbon Mango Pork Kota ($3.75).

"What the heck is a Kota" you ask? Or perhaps you already wikipedia'd it and beat me to it, but a Kota (also called a "Bunny Chow") is apparently a South African sandwich where a hollowed out loaf of bread is stuffed with something tasty. And very appropriate, because it was probably the tastiest thing we had tonight. Great smokiness, great spicy kick, a sweet note from the mango, well seasoned, and nicely complimented by the chipotle ranch potato chips. The only thing I didn't dig about the chips is that some weren't cooked crispy, but again, this 4-wheeled restaurant had only been open for about 20 minutes, so I anticipated a couple bugs would need to be worked out.And here is the Turducken "Smash Ball", which was my least favorite 'Witch of the three, but was by no means bad (just had a couple bugs to be worked out too, the owner explained they were tweaking the meat-to-bread ratio and it would soon be revised).

A Turkey-Duck-Chicken patty with cranberry sauce on it, 4AM thanksgiving drunk food. Methinks someone did their homework.Here's the owner and his son, he also owns the restaurant "Fresh" in downtown Tampa. Really nice guy, and was very genuinely wanted our honest feedback. I hope they do well, I really dig the concept and the menu, and they couldn't have picked a much more ideal spot to sell their fare on weekend nights!